Long Tail Keywords: What Are They & How To Use Them

Long Tail Keywords: What Are They & How To Use Them

Long-Tail keywords are one of the most talked-about aspects of digital marketing, and yet one of the most overlooked during SEO keyword research. While it’s agreed upon that long-tail keywords are important, it still seems as if the short-head keywords with a high search volume get all the love.

In this article, we’ll discuss what long-tail keywords are and how you can utilize them in your digital marketing strategy. 

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

Long tail keywords are longer, more specific, versions of search terms. These types of keywords contain additional modifiers; such as details, adjectives and geographic targets that people use when searching online. Since long-tail keywords carry these additional details, they are usually a more specific version of shorter “head” keywords, which in turn lead to a smaller amount of search volume.

Examples of Long Tail keywords:

We’ll use “car for sale” in our example of long-tail keywords. 

Obviously, this keyword is very generic with no details outside of a user looking to buy a plant online. The search volume reflects this as it’s expected to receive around 1,000,000 monthly searches according to SEMRush

The user searching “cars for sale” can just be at the beginning of their customer journey, not even close to the point of purchase. This generic of a keyword can also lead to higher competition and more difficulty to rank for organically, this is also an upper-funnel keyword which can lead to a much lower conversion rate as well. 

Now let’s get a bit more specific.

What if instead of broadly targeting “cars for sale” we set our sights on “used toyota camry for sale in charlotte nc”? We can already see those extra details making our short, generic keyword more long-tail and specific.

In our newest long-tail keyword, we added in an adjective of “used”, a geographic modifier of “charlotte nc” and what car we are actually looking for “toyota camry”. All of these added details helped drive our keyword to the lower-funnel (hopefully increasing the conversion rate), but doing this also significantly decreased the monthly search volume from 1,000,000 to 40. However, the user searching for “used toyota camry for sale in charlotte nc” can be much closer to the point of purchase than the user who just began their customer journey.

How to Find Long Tail Keywords?

There are many different tools you can use to find relevant long-tail keywords for your digital marketing strategy. Some of my favorites are:

  • SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool:
    • Use their Keyword Magic Tool to find related keywords using many different filters such as search volume, keyword difficulty and SERP features to find relevant keywords to your campaign.
  • Keywords Everywhere Chrome Extension
    • Adding this extension to Google Chrome populates related, long-tail and keywords people also searched for from your initial search query. 
  • Google Ads
    • If you’re running a paid search campaign, view the Search Term Report to find the actual terms that users search for when your ads are clicked on. Depending on your targeting settings, these can provide additional insights for your SEO strategy.
  • Google Trends
    • Lastly, Google Trends is a free tool that you can use to find top and trending keywords related to a topic, you can even get as granular as specific geographic locations. 

Use long-tail keywords to find specific keywords that your target audience is looking for to drive additional qualified traffic, leading to a higher ROI as well.

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Nick Haigler
Nick Haigler
Sr. Manager, SEO